Jane Wyman won this year with an unusual performance as a deaf-mute woman who is raped and impregnated in Johnny Belinda. At the time, she was married to Ronald Reagan, although Nancy Davis would soon appear on the scene. Reagan at the time was mostly famous for having his legs chopped off in Kings Row and running the Screen Actors Guild. Later on, he would be famous for running for office and chopping off the legs of the unions…
Ingrid Bergman scored another nomination, this time for the title role in the immense turkey, Joan of Arc. Soon, she would be exiled from Hollywood for her adulterous affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, which would result in the creation of Isabella Rossellini, which is enough of an argument to encourage more adulterous affairs in Hollywood…an entirely unnecessary encouragement, I’m sure.
Olivia de Havilland continued her quest for meaty roles with this insider’s tale of an insane asylum with The Snake Pit. She even spent time inside one for preparation:
Irene Dunne continued her casting streak in nostalgic roles as mother-figures with I Remember Mama (along with Life with Father and The Mud Lark)
The final nomination is for Barbara Stanwyck, moving away from her badass roles in film noir to victim roles. Stanwyck kept reinventing herself over a fifty year career — do yourself a favor and pick up the immense biography by Victoria Wilson. Excellent look at an excellent actress:
So who did the Academy forget?
Unexpectedly, Rita Hayworth showed that she could do more than show off Rita Hayworth: she was capable of acting, as she proved in her husband Orson Welles’ film noir classic, The Lady from Shanghai:
And then we have Lauren Bacall, on her final outing with Humphrey Bogart, Key Largo. I still want to know what Edward G. Robinson whispered in her ear…
If you would like to make other suggestions, please do so below in the comments!
As always, I have much more to say in my book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PKK8MBY
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